SUPPLEMENTAL TEACHING

Version 2

By other Ministers

UNION WITH CHRIST

(BOLD emphasis mine)

Charles Stanley preaching 2014Dr. Charles F. Stanley

Founder of InTouch Ministries Atlanta, Georgia

The Holy Spirit – Baptizing the Believer

Dr. Charles Stanley

(In Touch Magazine May 1990)

…we need to understand the biblical concept of baptism. The word that is used for baptism in the New Testament means, “to submerge.” It also means “to place someone or something into relationship or a union by which their condition is altered….”

The baptizing work of the Holy Spirit is the means by which we are placed into union with Christ.  It establishes our relationship with the Savior.

In this one transaction, the Holy Spirit places us in the Body of Christ, the living church.  Not brick or mortar, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the body of people who have been born again.  The church is comprised of every believer and is a living entity.

That union with Christ’s universal church is accomplished by the supernatural, baptizing work of the Holy Spirit.

The first baptizing work of God’s Holy Spirit was accomplished on the day of Pentecost, which is described in Acts 2….

From that point on, every person who confesses Christ as his Savior from sin is instantly joined with Christ in His body, the church, through the work of the Holy Spirit.  He makes believers from all nations, all cultures, all races, all backgrounds into one body of brothers and sisters in Christ.

So His baptizing work occurs the moment we trust in Christ for salvation, making us one with Him as members of His spiritual body….

Once we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ at salvation, we have a new relationship that cannot be changed.  We are children of the Heavenly Father forever, a bond that cannot be broken – even by our sinful acts.  We are “sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30) – eternally secure through the merit of Christ’s sacrificial death on Calvary.

We also are justified and reconciled….

Every believer is placed into an inseparable union with Christ….

If you are a believer in Christ, you are already baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ and His church….

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to our union with Christ referencing 500 Scriptures.

 

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Dr. J. I. Packer

Professor at Regent College Vancouver, British Columbia

 

BAPTISM  THIS RITE EXHIBITS UNION WITH CHRIST

Dr. J.I. Packer

Baptism carries these meanings because first and fundamentally it signifies union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7; Col. 2:11-12); and this union with Christ is the source of every element in our salvation (1 John 5:11-12).

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to our union with Christ referencing 500 Scriptures.

 

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 Charles Spurgeon   Charles H. Spurgeon  (1834 -1892)

Former Pastor of Metropolitan Tabernacle London, England

 

Bands of Love: or, Union to Christ

Charles Spurgeon

(Sword and Trowel September 1865)

 

Thus, whatever Christ hath done, he hath wrought for the whole body of his Church. We were crucified in him and buried with him, (Read Colossians 2:10-13,) and to make it still more wonderful, we are risen with him and have even ascended with him to the seats on high. (Ephesians 2:6)…

Christ Jesus has nothing distinct from his Church, but all that he has he holds for her. Adam’s righteousness was ours as long as he maintained it, and his sin was ours the moment that he committed it; and in the same manner, all that the Second Adam is or does, is ours as well as his, seeing that he is our representative. Here is the foundation of the covenant of grace. This gracious system of representation and substitution, which moved Justin Martyr to cry out, “O blessed change, O sweet permutation!” this, I say, is the very groundwork of the gospel of our salvation, and is to be received with strong faith and rapturous joy. In every place the saints are perfectly one with Jesus….

For the accomplishment of the great works of atonement and perfect obedience, it was needful that the Lord Jesus should take upon him “the likeness of sinful flesh.” Thus, he became one with us in our nature, for in Holy Scripture, all partakers of flesh and blood are regarded as of one family. By the fact of common descent from Adam, all men are of one race, seeing that “God hath made of one blood all nations that dwell upon the face of the earth.”…

There is one aspect of this subject of natural union, which it were improper to pass over in silence, for it is very precious to the believer. While the Lord Jesus takes upon himself our nature (2 Peter 1:4), he restores in us that image of God (Genesis 1:27), which was blotted and defaced by the fall of Adam. He raises us from the degradation of sin to the dignity of perfection. So that in a twofold sense, the head and members are of one nature

Lay hold upon this privilege; let not a senseless indolence make thee negligent to trace this pedigree, and suffer no foolish attachment to present vanities to occupy thy thoughts to the exclusion of this glorious, this heavenly honor of union with Christ….

This, which we call vital union is rather a matter of experience than of doctrine; it must be learned in the heart, and not by the head. Like every other work of the Spirit, the actual implantation of the soul into Christ Jesus is a mysterious and secret operation, and is no more to be understood by carnal reason than the new birth of which it is an attendant. Nevertheless, the spiritual man discerns it as a most essential thing in the salvation of the soul, and he clearly sees how a living union to Christ is the sure consequence of the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, and is indeed, in some respects, identical with it….

Life is one of the absolutely essential things in spiritual matters, and until it be bestowed we are incapable of partaking in the things of the kingdom. Now the life which grace confers upon the saints at the moment of their quickening is none other than the life of Christ, which, like the sap from the stem, runs into us, the branches, and establishes a living connection between our souls and Jesus. Faith is the grace, which perceives this union, and proceeds from it as its firstfruit….

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to our union with Christ referencing 500 Scriptures.

 

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 Version 2

Martin Luther  (1483 -1546)

A German theologian who inspired the Reformation

Wittenburg, Germany

 

Union With Christ: The New Finnish Interpretation of Luther

Edited by Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson

Reviewed by Ted Dorman

 

Dr. Tuomo Mannermaa expounds the book’s thesis as follows: “According to Luther, Christ (in both his person and his work) is present in faith and is through this presence identical with the righteousness of faith. The idea of a divine life in Christ who is really present in faith lies at the very center of the theology of the Reformer.” The forensic element in Luther’s doctrine of justification is thus viewed by the Finns as a function of his central emphasis on the believer’s actual participation in the divine life through union with Christ.

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to our union with Christ referencing 500 Scriptures.

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THE CHRIST LIFE

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George Douglas Watson (1885-1933)

Wesleyan Methodist minister and evangelist Los Angeles, California

Others May, You Cannot

G. D. Watson

If God has called you to be really like Christ in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others can brag on themselves, and their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

The Lord will let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hid away in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His glory, which can be produced only in the shade.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making money, but it is likely God will keep you poor because he wants you to have something far better than gold and that is a helpless dependence on Him; that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day – out of an unseen treasury.

God will let others be great, but He will keep you small. He will let others do a great work for Him and get credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when He comes.

The Holy Spirit will put strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do what He pleases with His own, and He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealing with you. He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things that you cannot do or say.

Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that others are not dealt with.

Now, when you are so possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this particular personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven.

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 A.B. Simpson (1843 – 1919) imgres

Albert Benjamin Simpson: A Canadian preacher, theologian, author, and founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA)

HIMSELF
A. B. Simpson

I wish to speak to you about Jesus, and Jesus only. I often hear people say, “I wish I could get hold of Divine Healing, but I cannot.” Sometimes they say, “I have got it.” If I ask them, “What have you got?” the answer is sometimes, “I have got the blessing”, sometimes it is, “I have got the theory”; sometimes it is, “I have got the healing”; sometimes, “I have got the sanctification.” But I thank God we have been taught that it is not the blessing, it is not the healing, it is not the sanctification, it is not the thing, it is not the it that you want, but it is something better. It is “the Christ”; it is Himself. How often that comes out in His Word “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses”, Himself “bare our sins in his own body on the tree”! It is the person of Jesus Christ we want. Plenty of people get the idea and do not get anything out of it. They get it into their head, and it into their conscience, and it into their will; but somehow they do not get Him into their life and spirit, because they have only that which is the outward expression and symbol of the spiritual reality. I once saw a picture of the Constitution of the United States, very skillfully engraved in copper plate, so that when you looked at it closely it was nothing more than a piece of writing, but when you looked at it at a distance, it was the face of George Washington. The face shone out in the shading of the letters at a little distance, and I saw the person, not the words, nor the ideas; and I thought, “‘That is the way to look at the Scriptures and understand the thoughts of God, to see in them the face of love, shining through and through; not ideas, nor doctrines, but Jesus Himself as the Life and Source and sustaining Presence of all our life.”

I prayed a long time to get sanctified, and sometimes I thought I had it. On one occasion I felt something, and I held on with a desperate grip for fear I should lose it, and kept awake the whole night fearing it would go, and, of course, it went with the next sensation and the next mood. Of course, I lost it because I did not hold on to Him. I had been taking a little water from the reservoir, when I might have all the time received from Him fullness through the open channels. I went to meetings and heard people speak of joy. I even thought I had the joy, but I did not keep it because I had not Himself as my joy. At last He said to me Oh so tenderly ­ “My child, just take Me, and let Me be in you the constant supply of all this, Myself.” And when at last I got my eyes off my sanctification, and my experience of it, and just placed them on the Christ in me, I found, instead of an experience, the Christ larger than the moment’s need, the Christ that had all that I should ever need who was given to me at once, and for ever! And when I thus saw Him, it was such rest; it was all right, and right for ever. For I had not only what I could hold that little hour, but also in Him, all that I should need the next and the next and so on, until sometimes I get a glimpse of what it will be a million years afterwards, when we shall “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father” (Matt. 13: 43), and have “all the fullness of God.”

And so I thought the healing would be an it too, that the Lord would take me like the old run-down clock, wind me up, and set me going like a machine. It is not thus at all. I found it was Himself coming in instead and giving me what I needed at the moment. I wanted to have a great stock, so that I could feel rich; a great store laid up for many years, so that I would not be dependent upon Him the next day; but He never gave me such a store. I never had more holiness or healing at one time than I needed for that hour. He said: “My child, you must come to Me for the next breath because I love you so dearly I want you to come all the time. If I gave you a great supply, you would do without Me and would not come to Me so often; now you have to come to Me every second, and lie on My breast every moment.” He gave me a great fortune, placed thousands and millions at credit, but He gave a cheque-book with this one condition, “You never can draw more than you need at the time.” Every time a cheque was wanted, however, there was the name of Jesus upon it, and so it brought more glory to Him, kept His name before the heavenly world and God was glorified in His Son.

I had to learn to take from Him my spiritual life every second, to breathe Himself in as I breathed, and breathe myself out. So, moment by moment for the spirit, and moment by moment for the body, we must receive. You say, “Is not that a terrible bondage, to be always on the strain ?” What, on the strain with one you love, your dearest Friend ? Oh, no! It comes so naturally, so spontaneously, so like a fountain, without consciousness, without effort, for true life is always easy, and overflowing.

And now, thank God, I have Him, not only what I have room for, but that which I have not room for, but for which I shall have room, moment by moment, as I go on into the eternity before me. I am like the little bottle in the sea, as full as it will hold. The bottle is in the sea, and the sea is in the bottle; so I am in Christ, and Christ is in me. But, besides that bottleful in the sea, there is a whole ocean beyond; the difference is, that the bottle has to be filled over again, every day, evermore.

Now the question for each of us is not “What think you of Bethshan, and what think you of divine healing?” but “What think you of Christ?” There came a time when there was a little thing between me and Christ. I express it by a little conversation with a friend who said, “You were healed by faith.” “Oh, no,” I said, “I was healed by Christ.” What is the difference? There is a great difference. There came a time when even faith seemed to come between me and Jesus. I thought I should have to work up the faith, so I labored to get the faith. At last I thought I had it; that if I put my whole weight upon it, it would hold. I said, when I thought I had got the faith, “Heal me.” I was trusting in myself, in my own heart, in my own faith. I was asking the Lord to do something for me because of something in me, not because of something in Him. So the Lord allowed the devil to try my faith, and the devil devoured it like a roaring lion, and I found myself so broken down that I did not think I had any faith. God allowed it to be taken away until I felt I had none. And then God seemed to speak to me so sweetly, saying, “Never mind, my child, you have nothing. But I am perfect Power, I am perfect Love, I am Faith, I am your Life, I am the preparation for the blessing, and then I am the Blessing, too. I am all within and all without, and all for ever.” It is just having “The Faith of God” (Mark 11: 22, margin). “And the life I now live in the flesh, I live,” not by faith on the Son of God, but “by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2 20). That is it. It is not your faith. You have no faith in you, any more than you have life or anything else in you. You have nothing but emptiness and vacuity, and you must be just openness and readiness to take Him to do all. You have to take His faith as well as His life and healing, and have simply to say, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” My faith is not worth anything. If I had to pray for anyone, I would not depend upon my faith at all. I would say, “Here, Lord, am I. If you want me to be the channel of blessing to this one just breathe into me all that I need.” It is simply Christ, Christ alone.

Now, is your body yielded to Christ for Him thus to dwell and work in you? The Lord Jesus Christ has a body as wel1 as you only it is perfect; it is the body, not of a man, but of the Son of man. Have you considered why He is called the Son of man? The Son of man means that Jesus Christ is the one typical, comprehensive, universal, all-inclusive Man. Jesus is the one man that contains in Himself all that man ought to be all that man needs to have. It is all in Christ. All the fullness of the Godhead and the fullness of a perfect manhood has been embodied in Christ, and He stands now as the summing-up of all that man needs. His spirit is all that your spirit needs, and He just gives us Himself. His body possesses all that your body needs. He has a heart beating with the strength that your heart needs. He has organs and functions redundant with life, not for Himself, but for humanity. He does not need strength for Himself. The energy which enabled Him to rise and ascend from the tomb, above all the forces of nature, was not for Himself. That marvellous body belongs to your body. You are a member of His body. Your heart has a right to draw from His heart all that it needs. Your physical life has a right to draw from His physical life its support and strength, and so it is not you, but it is just the precious life of the Son of God. Will you take Him thus today, and then you will not be merely healed, but you will have a new life for all you need, a flood of life that will sweep disease away, and then remain a fountain of life for all your future need. Oh, take Him in His fullness.

It seems to me as if I might just bring you a little talisman today, as if God had given me a little secret for every one here and said to me, “Go and tell them, if they will take it, it will be a talisman of power wherever they go, and it will carry them through difficulty, danger, fear, life, death, eternity.” If I could stand on this platform and say, “I have received from heaven a secret of wealth and success which God will give freely, through my hand, to everybody who will take it,” I am sure you would need a larger hall for the people who would come. But, dear friends, I show you in His Word a truth which is more precious. The Apostle Paul tells us that there is a secret, a great secret which was hidden from ages and from generations (Col. 1: 26), which the world was seeking after in vain, which wise men from the East hoped they might find, and God says it “is now made manifest to his saints”; and Paul went through the world just to tell it to those that were able to receive it; and that simple secret is just this “Christ in you the hope of glory.”

The word “mystery” means secret; this is the great secret. And I tell you today, nay, I can give you, if you will take it from Him, not from me-I can give you a secret which has been to me, oh, so wonderful! Years ago I came to Him burdened with guilt and fear; I tried that simple secret, and it took away all my fear and sin. Years passed on, and I found sin overcoming me and my temptations too strong for me. I came to Him a second time, and He whispered to me, “Christ in you,” and I had victory, rest and blessing.

Then the body broke away in every sort of way. I had always worked hard, and from the age of fourteen I studied and labored and spared no strength. I took charge of a large congregation at the age of twenty-one; I broke down utterly half a dozen times and at my last constitution was worn out. Many times I feared I should drop dead in my pulpit. I could not ascend any height without a sense of suffocation, because of a broken-down heart and exhausted nervous system. I heard of the Lord’s healing, but I struggled against it. I was afraid of it. I had been taught in theological seminaries that the age of the supernatural was past, and I could not go back from my early training. My head was in my way, but at last when I was brought to attend “the funeral of my dogmatics,” as Mr. Schrenck says, “the Lord whispered to me the little secret, ‘Christ in you’; and from that hour I received Him for my body as I had done for my soul. I was made so strong and well that work has been a perfect delight. For years I have spent my summer holiday in the hot city of New York, preaching and working amongst the masses, as I never did before; besides the work of our Home and College and an immense mass of library work and much besides. But the Lord did not merely remove my sufferings. It was more than simple healing. He so gave me Himself that I lost the painful consciousness of physical organs. That is the best of the health He gives. I thank the Lord that He keeps me from all morbid, physical consciousness and a body that is the object of anxious care, and gives a simple life that is a delight and a service for the Master, that is a rest and joy.

Then, again, I had a poor sort of a mind, heavy and cumbrous, that did not think or work quickly. I wanted to write and speak for Christ and to have a ready memory, so as to have the little knowledge I had gained always under command. I went to Christ about it, and asked if He had anything for me in this way. He replied, “Yes, my child, I am made unto you Wisdom.” I was always making mistakes, which I regretted, and then thinking I would not make them again; but when He said that He would be my wisdom, that we may have the mind of Christ, that He could cast down imaginations and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, that He could make the brain and head right, then I took Him for all that. And since then I have been kept free from this mental disability, and work has been rest. I used to write two sermons a week, and it took me three days to complete one. But now, in connection with my literary work, I have numberless pages of matter to write constantly besides the conduct of very many meetings a week, and all is delightfully easy to me. The Lord has helped me mentally, and I know He is the Saviour of our mind as well as our spirit.

Well, then, I had an irresolute will. I asked, ‘ Cannot you be a will to me?” He said, “Yes, my child, it is God who worketh in you to will and to do.” Then He made me to learn how and when to be firm, and how and when to yield. Many people have a decided will, but they do not know how to hold on just at the proper moment. So, too, I came to Him for power for His work and all the resources for His service, and He has not failed me.

And so I would say, if this precious little secret of “Christ in you,” will help you, you may have it. May you make better use of it than I! I feel I have only begun to learn how well it works. Take it and go on working it out, through time and eternity-Christ for all, grace for grace, from strength to strength, from glory to glory, from this time forth and even for evermore.

HIMSELF
A. B. Simpson

 

Once it was the blessing,
Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling,
Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted,
Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing,
Now Himself alone.

Once ’twas painful trying,
Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation,
Now the uttermost.
Once ’twas ceaseless holding,
Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting,
Now my anchor’s cast.

Once ’twas busy planning,
Now ’tis trustful prayer;
Once ’twas anxious caring,
Now He has the care.
Once ’twas what I wanted
Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking,
Now ’tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working,
His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him,
Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted,
Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored,
Now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus,
Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying,
Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited,
Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored
Safe within the vail.
CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS, INC. 25 South Tenth Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to the Christ Life referencing 500 Scriptures.

 

 

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Al Whittinghill

Ambassadors for Christ International  Marietta, Georgia

 

THE GLORY OF THE WORD BECOMING FLESH

Al Whittinghill

“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” And Mary said, “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord, be it unto me according to Thy Word.” Luke 1:35,38

When we read in John 1:14 that the Word was made flesh and was “tabernacled among us” we should realize that this same Jesus wants to indwell us in such a literal way that we actually become channels of His Life, and partakers of His Divine Nature. Christ IN us is our hope (assurance) of glory. We are to become the very “tabernacle” of His Presence on Earth. This is the glorious calling, His gift of Himself that we share as His church. If we hear the messenger of God saying to us that the Lord has chosen us to use us as a channel of His Life to a world lost in darkness, we may wonder (just like Mary) “How can this be?” and think that it is impossible because there is no natural explanation. God’s answer is “the Holy Spirit” will form the Lord Jesus Christ IN you. But we must be HIS! May our hearts cry out to Him in surrender, “Behold, the love slave of God, let it happen to me like the Word of God says.” We will not understand the full glory of it until we see Him face to face. “Oh, come into my heart Lord Jesus, there’s room in my heart for Thee.” Oh, the glory of HIS plan, and the privilege that is given to us by Him to be part of it.

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to the Christ Life referencing 500 Scriptures.

 

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REVIVAL

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Duncan Campbell (1898 -1973)

Minister born in Scotland, influential in The Hebrides Revival which began on the Isle of Lewis 1949-1952

 

THE NATURE OF A GOD-SENT REVIVAL

Duncan Campbell

 

INTRODUCTION

Now will you turn with me to a very familiar passage of scripture. You will find it in the book of Psalms. And together we shall read Psalms 85: “Lord, thou has been favorable unto thy land; thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast taken away all thy wrath; thou hast turned Thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us forever? Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again; that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints; but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and His righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” The Lord will bless that reading from His Word.

Now, will you turn with me to verse 6. We might read verses 5 and 6. “Wilt thou be angry with us forever? Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in thee?”

I mentioned the other evening that I would be speaking this afternoon on principles that govern spiritual quickening, and I would also tell you something of how God in mercy met with me and brought revival to this heart and life of mine.

“Wilt thou not revive us again that thy people…thy people…may rejoice in Thee.” These words of the Psalmist express the heart cry of many of God’s dear children today. There is without question a growing conviction in many quarters that unless revival comes, that is, a God-sent revival, other forces that are out to defy every known Christian principle will take the field.

Indeed, the observant eye can already see shadows around the world that are ripening and ripening fast for repentance or judgment. With that conviction there seems to be a growing hunger for God to manifest His power, and so intense is the hunger and manifest His power, and so intense is the hunger and so deep the longing that the cry of the prophet of old is frequently heard upon the lips of God’s children.

 

OUR ONLY HOPE IS REVIVAL

 “Oh, that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down that the mountains might flow down at thy presence” (Isa. 64:1,2). You will observe that in that prayer of the prophet two fundamental things are suggested. That unless God comes down, mountains will not flow and sinners will not tremble. But if God comes down, if God manifests His power, if God shows His hand, if God takes the field, mountains will flow…mountains of indifference, mountains of materialism, mountains of humanism, will flow before His presence, and nations, not just individuals, but nations, shall be made to tremble.

We haven’t seen nations trembling, but we have seen communities; we have seen districts; we have seen parishes in the grips of God in a matter of hours when God comes down!

It is true that we have seen man’s best endeavor in the field of evangelism leaving communities untouched. We have seen crowded churches. We have seen many professions. We have seen hundreds, yes, and thousands responding to what you speak of here as the altar call. But I want to say this, dear people, and I say it without fear of contradiction, that you can have all that without God! Now, that may startle you, but I say again, you can have all that on mere human levels!

Howard Spring was right when he wrote, “The kingdom of God is not going to advance by our churches becoming filled with men, but my men in our churches becoming filled with God.” And there’s a difference! Oh, no! Crowded churches, deep interest in church activity is possible on mere human levels leaving the community untouched!

 

The Difference Between Evangelism and Revival

The difference in successful evangelism, (and I use the word `successful,’) and revival is this: In evangelism, the two, the three, the ten, the twenty, and possibly the hundred make confessions of Jesus Christ, and at the end of the year you are thankful if half of them are standing. But the community remains untouched. The public houses are crowded, the dances, dancing ballrooms, packed. The theater and the picture houses are patronized by the hundreds. No change in the community!

But in revival, when God the Holy Ghost comes, when the winds of heaven blow, suddenly the community becomes God-conscious! A God-realization takes hold of young, middle-aged and old. So that, as in the case of the Hebrides Revival, 75% of those saved one night were saved before they came near a meeting! “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

That is where the difference comes in between evangelism and revival, and that is why I say our only hope is not in crusades. Thank God for all that has been accomplished! Thank God for all that is being done through missions! I represent a mission in Scotland. We have also workers in Canada, and we thank God for all that is being accomplished through the efforts of ministers and evangelists and Christian workers, bringing one here and two there to a saving knowledge of Jesus. But our supreme need and the only answer to the problem that confronts the Christian church today is a visitation from God!

 

Revival at Berneray

Let me illustrate what I mean by an incident that happened, not in Lewis, or Uist, but on the small island of Berneray. I was addressing the Bangor Convention. The Bangor Convention is perhaps one of the largest conventions in Britain. I was sitting in the pulpit beside the chairman of the convention and the other speaker when I was suddenly gripped by the conviction that I had to leave the convention, and leave at once, and go to this island. I turned to the chairman and told him my convictions. “Oh,” he said, “you cannot leave the convention. You are down to give the closing address.” Oh, but I couldn’t give the closing address with this conviction! So, to make a long story short, it was agreed that I should leave the convention. I left the following morning by plane to the city of Glasgow, and from Glasgow by plane to the town of Stornoway, and then by car across the island where a ferry boat met me and took me to this island of, say, 500 inhabitants.

On arriving, I met a young lad. I said nothing to the man who ferried me across. They were strangers to me. I was never on the island. I was never invited to the island, and to my knowledge no one on the island had ever met me. But I was there. And I said to the man that met me, “Would you direct me to the nearest minister?”

“We have no minister on the island. Just now both churches are vacant.”

“Would you then direct me to the nearest elder?”

“Yes, the nearest elder lives in that house on the hill.”

So I said to the lad, “Do you mind going up to the elder and telling him that Mr. Campbell has come to the island? And if he asks, `What Campbell?’ tell him the Campbell that was on the Island of Lewis.”

So that young lad went up and after a few minutes came back and said, “Hector McKennon was expecting you to arrive today. And you are to stay with his brother. And he asked me to tell you that he has initiated a meeting at the church at 9:00 tonight and he expects you to address it.”

 

The Secret of Revival at Berneray

Now, explain that as you will. Here was a man who on the morning of the day that I sat in the church of Bangor Island, decided to spend the day in prayer.

He was concerned about the parish, particularly about the state of the young people growing up in a state of indifference to God and to the church. And his wife told me that on three occasions she went to the door of the barn where he was praying and she heard him pray, “God, I do not know where he is, but you know, and you send him.”

About 10:00 that evening he was possessed of the conviction that God heard his cry and that I would be on the island on this particular day. Hence, the initiation that I would preach in the church at 9:00 that evening.

We went to the church. Quite a considerable congregation gathered-about 80. The service was a very ordinary service. Indeed, at the end, I wondered after all if I was led to the island. But there were men there nearer to God than I was. My dear people, we’ve got to be honest!

This old man that I already referred to came to me and said, “I hope you are not disappointed that revival has not come to the church tonight. But God is hovering over us, and He will break through any minute!”

Here was a man near to God! “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.”

 

The Difference Between Human Faith and Saving Faith

Oh, there is a difference between human faith and saving faith!

I heard a prominent evangelist in Britain say something that really startled me. He said, “You exercise faith in a plane. You go into that plane and you exercise faith that that plane will take you to your destination. You go into a steamer and you exercise faith in the steamer and the captain and the crew to take you to your destination. Exercise that faith in the promises of God.” Did you ever hear or listen to such nonsense? That is human faith! It is not given by God!

Oh, Calvin was right, and I love to quote him, although I am not an extreme Calvinist-though I’m a Highlander. Calvin said, “We are saved through faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” God is in it! Surely that is what Paul tells us in that great passage. “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ, He liveth in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the”-faith of Paul? Oh, no! That wouldn’t get him very far. “I live by the faith of the Son of God!” The faith of God.

 

Harvests of Infidels or Believers?

Now I’m convinced of this, that if this truth was stressed, there would be less appeals. If this truth was stressed, our crusades and campaigns would not be producing harvests of infidels.

If men and women would but recognize that glorious truth-“They shall seek me and shall find me when they shall search for me with all their heart.” That means that they may not find Him tonight. They may not find Him tomorrow night. They may not find Him next week. They may not find Him for a month or for six months, but if they are seeking God with all their hearts, they’re going to find Him, or God is not true to His covenant engagement.

Oh, let’s get this clear. It comes into revival. That is why I could count upon my five fingers all that I spoke to about their souls during the whole of the three years I was in the midst of it (1949-53).

You see, in the Northwest of Scotland, if you were to press yourself and your advice and your help upon an anxious soul, he would be inclined to believe that it was man’s work…just man’s work. And he would much rather be left to God so that God Himself would handle him. That is why we have known people for weeks and longer in distress of soul before light broke in upon them.

 

THE ORIGIN OF REVIVAL

 

Now, let me touch first of all on the origin of revival. You have it in this verse. “Wilt Thou not revive us again.”

My dear people, we do well to remember that in the whole field of Christian experience, the first step is, and remains, with God. We want to remember that. Thought, feeling, endeavor must find their basis, must find their inspiration in the sovereign mercy of God. Now I believe that. I believe it with all my heart.

I remember making that statement at a conference outside London some time ago. And at the close of the conference the chairman overheard a certain titled lady say, “That was a wonderful address that we listened to, but I don’t agree with all that he said, particularly to the sovereignty of God. But we must not forget that the dear man was born and brought up among the hills of Scotland, and that is his background and he can’t help it.”

My dear people, let me say again, in the field of revival, God is sovereign! But, I hasten to say, that I do not believe in any conception of sovereignty that nullifies man’s responsibility. God is the God of revival, but we are the human agents through which revival is possible. And God found that man in the postman of Berneray.

I believe this to be the reason for so few making contact with Christ that is vital: to me, one of the most disturbing factors of present-day evangelism, (let me say, present-day evangelism) is the overemphasis on what man can do. “Come to the front. Raise your hand. Respond to the altar call. Come to Jesus and be happy!” God have mercy on us! I say, God have mercy on us! Man, in the final analysis, can do nothing but throw himself on the sovereign mercy of God! Oh, let’s get that clear. That is not Highland Theology. It’s New Testament Theology! It’s Old Testament Theology! I’m tired, positively tired of this gospel of simple believism!

 

No Backsliders

You go back to those villages today-I’m glad I see Mr. McFarland of the Faith Mission here. He was up on Lewis not so very long ago. He was in a village that saw the mighty movings of God. I never spoke to one single person in that village in an endeavor to help them find the Savior! We just left them to God and God did it! That is why you haven’t a single backslider in that whole community. Oh, my dear people, when God does a work, He does it well! You can go back, and you can go back again, and you’ll find them pressing on with the God that revealed, not only Himself to them, but revealed Himself in them.

 

Salvation is of God

“God,” said David, “God is the God of our salvation.” The fact of ultimate reality surely is this, that salvation is of God!

I was asked recently to help a young woman. She was a nurse in Glasgow, now home in the Hebrides, and she was in terrible distress of soul, and the distress continued for a long period. Her father thought that perhaps a word from me might help her, so I called and I found the young woman in a terrible state, fearfully distressed about her soul. The sense of guilt, the sense of unworthiness, and behind it all, the question: “Am I in the covenant…Am I in the covenant?” So I knelt beside her and did my best to help her, and I quoted that great verse of Scripture that I so often quote, John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give unto them Eternal Life and they shall never perish, neither can any man pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” And I quoted it again, and I tried to point out the two supreme characteristics of the sheep for whom Christ died. They hear his voice and they follow Him!

Have you heard His voice? Oh, have you heard His voice, young people? Have you heard His voice? It is different from the voice of man! The voice of the Shepherd speaking the word of conviction, speaking the word of pardon, speaking the word of assurance, speaking the word of power. Have you heard the voice of the Shepherd?

I spoke along these lines, and then she looked at me through her tears and said, “Mr. Campbell, I thank you for your kindly words of counsel, but surely, surely, as a minister, you believe that a verse of Scripture won’t save you?”

Have you got it? Oh, have you got it?

 

Extensive Delusion About Salvation!

There are thousands today living under a self-created delusion, and a delusion given birth to in our evangelical crusades, who have nothing to rest upon but a verse of Scripture. Are you saved by a verse of Scripture?

Listen to the poet, “The promise can’t save though the promise is sure. It is the blood we get under that cleanses us through. It cleanses me now. Hallelujah to God! I rest on the promise but I’m under the blood!” That’s it! That’s it! “Beyond…beyond…the sacred page I see Thee, Lord…I seek thee, Lord…my spirit yearns for Thee, thou living Word.”

Tell me, has the living Word spoken? Has the living Word spoken, or are you just holding on to a verse of Scripture?

So she said, “Surely you are not suggesting that a verse of Scripture will save me? “My heart cries for Jesus!” That’s it! “My heart cries for Jesus!” And Jesus, four or five days after that, revealed Himself in her…revealed Himself in her! And she was gloriously saved. And today she rests upon the promise, she feeds upon the Word-that brings her to Jesus.

 

God Has Come!

We are now walking down from the church. The church is on a hillock, the main road is down about 300 yards below the church. The congregation is moving down and we are walking behind them when suddenly…oh, this is what I am getting at, noting the difference between evangelism and revival …suddenly, the elder stands, takes off his hat, “Stand, Mr. Campbell. God has come! God has come! See what is happening!” And I looked toward the congregation and I saw them falling on their knees among the heather. I heard the cries of the penitent. And that meeting that began at 11:00 that night continued on the hillside until 4:00 in the morning.

The island was suddenly gripped by God! Was it because Campbell went to the island? Banish the thought!

I thank God for the privilege, and how thankful I am that I was near enough to God in that pulpit to hear His voice. I have often thought of that. Oh, I’ve often thought of it! If I was out of touch with God-if I was in the place where I couldn’t hear the voice of the Saviour, the voice of God, would Berneray have missed that mighty visitation that shook that island from center to circumference?

I question if there was one single house on the island that wasn’t visited that night! An awareness of God, a consciousness of God, seemed to hover over the very atmosphere! The very atmosphere seemed to be charged with the power of Almighty God! That is Revival!

Note the principle brought into operation. “If my people called by my name, humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I in heaven hear, come, and heal their land.”

There was at least one man on that island who fulfilled the conditions of that one passage of Scripture, and because he fulfilled the conditions, God, being a covenant-keeping God, must be true to His covenant engagements. And God, to vindicate His own honor, had to listen to the prayers of the parish postman who knelt in a barn for a day.

The principles that govern spiritual quickening…Oh, that God may find a people ready to fulfill and to comply with the governing principles relative to spiritual quickening.

 

Revival Where The Bible Is Unknown

Oh, let’s get this clear. It is a truth we want to lay hold of. And it becomes so wonderfully real in revival. People have said to me, “But you see, Mr. Campbell, up there they know the Word of God and the Holy Spirit has ground to work on. They are not tied up with this doctrine and that doctrine and the other doctrine.”

But listen friends. God sweeps into communities where the Word of God, to a large extent, is unknown. There are such communities in Britain, almost pagan. But I’ve seen God sweeping into such communities. For instance, the Midland of England just recently, sweeping into a godless community, and suddenly men and women understanding perfectly what it means to be born again and what it means to be sanctified, who, before the moving of God knew nothing or could not understand what Christ meant by saying, “You must be born again.” That’s why I say there’s hope for any community when God takes the situation in hand.

 

MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR REVIVAL

 The origin then is God…and the way God works-I think we’ve seen that. But His agents are His people. God, as I have already said, is the God of revival. He is sovereign, but as I already said, I quote again, “we do not believe in any conception of sovereignty that nullifies my responsibility”…to say as many do today, “Well, we can do nothing, we’ve just to wait for the wind to blow.” Well, that may be a very accommodating doctrine to the man at ease in Zion, but it will not stand in the light of Divine revelation.

“If my people, called by my name, will pray.” I wonder how many of us are praying? I wonder how many of us here talking about revival and interested in the convention are giving time to God in prayer.

I’m thankful that I was brought up in a home where prayer had a prominent place. Mother saw that God had at least an hour every morning…stillness in the farm house. No work from half past six in the morning to half past seven. Horses fed at six. Oh, yes, they had to be attended to. (Those were the days of horses…and I’m not sure but what they were better days than the days in which we’re living.) Half past six until half past seven…quietness in the farm house…in order that we might listen to God and give God an opportunity to speak to us.

We are the human agents through which revival is possible. Let me ask this question, “Are you in the place where God can trust you with revival?” He is sovereign. He is supernatural. But He comes down! And in His sovereign purpose and wise economy, He has placed this treasure in earthen vessels. Are you one that He can use? Are you one that He can trust? Are you in intimate fellowship with God?

I’m sure some of you will have heard of Murray McCheyne…died at twenty-seven, but left his mark, an indelible mark, on Scotland. Murray McCheyne was wonderfully used in revival prior to the disruption of ’43. It was the revivals of McCheyne and Bonar and others that led to that great disruption when the free church left the establishment. Murray McCheyne said this, “If we are to walk worthy of our high and holy calling, we must live in daily consideration of the greatness and glory of Jesus.”

The man who is there is just the man that God can trust with Revival. He is sovereign, but I am the instrument that He wills to use. Oh, tell me, friend, tell me, are you there?

 

PERSONAL TESTIMONY

 Now, I want to close my talk by telling you something of how God in His mercy met with me. I must go back to the days of my conversion.

 Conversion

I was converted under strange circumstances. I cannot take time to tell it all. But I was a piper and a step-dancer. And I was playing in a concert and dance outside of Oban when God spoke to me. God spoke to me in the dance. I had a praying father and a praying mother. And I left the dance and went home, shut myself in the barn and knelt among the straw prepared for the horses in the morning. And I cried, “God, I do not know how to come. I know not what to do, but if you’ll save me as I am, I’m coming now.” And God saved me! God saved me! And I say here today that never for one single moment had I ever any occasion to doubt the work that God did in my heart that morning. God did a sovereign and supernatural work and set me gloriously free. I believe that I can honestly say, Godliness… Godliness…characterized every part of my being-body, soul, and spirit-in that wonderful experience. And I’m not talking of sanctification or the deeper life. I’m just talking of a soul born again when God does the work.

 A Defeated, Desperate Christian

But shortly after that I joined the forces and found myself in France during the 1st World War. And it wasn’t long until I discovered that there were powers resident within me that were more than a match for me. You see, I was cradled in the midst of Godliness. And I found myself in the midst of extreme ungodliness-extreme ungodliness.

And I soon discovered, as I already said, forces resident within me that were more than a match for me. Again and again I cried, “Oh, God, speak the word of deliverance along with particular avenue.”

 Injured in Battle

However, to make a long story short, I am in a cavalry charge. And in that cavalry charge, I at last find myself lying on the battlefield, badly wounded. I thank God for a young trooper of the Canadian Horses. (I owe a great deal to Canada. For that reason I am happy to be here to pay a long-standing debt.) I was lying on the ground when there was a second charge and this charge was by the Canadian Horses, the last Cavalry charge of the British Army…outside of Ales on the 12th of April, 1918. And, as they charged over that bloody field, a horse’s hoof struck me in the spine. I must have groaned, and that groan registered in the mind of the young trooper that was in the charge, so much so, that in the providence of God, he came right back to where I lay. After they had cleared the hill and took the guns, he came back, dismounted, and threw me across the horse’s back and carried me to the first casualty clearing station. I thank God for that young man, whomever or wherever he is.

 Desperate for Holiness: Endued with Power

I, on that horse’s back, entered into an experience that revolutionized my life. I believed that I was dying. I knew that I was being carried to the casualty clearing station, but would I ever see it? And I prayed a prayer frequently prayed by my father, “God, make me as holy as a saved sinner can be.” That was it!

McCheyne’s prayer-“Make me as holy as a saved sinner can be.” And listen, friends, God swept into my life! God, the Holy Ghost-I cannot explain it in any other way-swept into my life as I was brought to the station.

Now, listen, I could not speak very much English then. Gaelic was my language. But I know this, that I began to talk about Jesus in Gaelic…in Gaelic…and there wasn’t a soul there that could understand me. And I want to say this, that before we left that casualty clearing station, seven Canadians were gloriously saved-seven of them!

 Midargyl Revival

Again, I must leave that casualty clearing station and after a year in the hospital, and after a few months of Bible training, I went out to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Jesus. It was the Midargyl Revival. God moved in those parishes in a mighty way and hundreds were swept into the Kingdom of God.

 Defeated Again

And then an evil hour struck me. I stepped consciously out of the will of God! I began to study for the ministry. And I’m sorry to say that during that period I drifted far from God in my mind…in my mind and in my heart. Oh, I was still evangelical, passed through, came out a minister, and for seventeen years ministered to two congregations.

I was Campbell of the Midargyl Revival and I would be asked to address conventions and conferences. Oh, the deceit of the human heart! I knew how unfit I was. Oh, I would question my salvation, because I tried to live consistently. But I knew barrenness…barrenness…in my spirit.

Prayer became a burden and the Word of God a dead word. Oh, brother, have you had that experience?

 Desperate Again

Then one day…oh, how I thank God for that day…my young daughter came to me…thank God for her…a girlie of sixteen years of age-she came to me and said, “Daddy, I would like to see you in your study. I’ve been praying for you, Daddy. I want to speak to you.” And she took me to my study, and she threw herself on my knees, as daughters sometimes do. She put her arms around my neck, and I can still see the tears streaming from her eyes, as she said, “Daddy, when you were a pilgrim in the Faith Mission, after the 1st World War, you saw revival in Scotland. You saw revival! Daddy, how is it that God is not using you in revival today? Tell me, Daddy, when did you last lead a soul to Christ?”

Thank God for faithful daughters! And I tell you, dear people, that shook me. Oh, it shook me! I knew! I knew! Campbell, a convention speaker…Campbell, the evangelistic minister…in his study smashed and broken by a question from his daughter.

Listen, I was booked to address the Keswick Convention that year. I went to the convention. Oh, the deceit of the human heart. I went to the convention and I had my address. And I was so thankful when it was over. The words kept ringing in my ears, “When did you last lead a soul to Christ? When did you last lead a soul to Christ?”

 Determined to Leave the Ministry

Then God in His own wonderful way moved Dr. Tom Fitch to depart from the address that he had prepared and give his own personal testimony. Dr. Fitch gave his personal testimony and I went home resolved that unless God would do something for me and give me back what I lost, that I certainly would resign from the ministry. I was absolutely decided on that!

So, in going home, I said to my wife and daughter, “I’m going to my study and I want you to leave me alone. I’m going to seek a meeting with God.”

And I went to my study. I shut the door. I put the rug down on the floor in front of the fire and I lay on the rug. I cannot take time to tell you all that God said to me in that hour. I’m thankful to say that He spoke to me the word of pardon, and the word of forgiveness, and the word of re-commission.

I cried, “God, won’t you give me again what you gave me on the battlefield?” And listen, friends, God did it!

My daughter came in at 2:00 in the morning. She lay down beside me and she said, “Daddy, whatever it costs, go through with God.” And I said, “Sheena, I’m going through whatever it may cost.”

 Cost to Pride

And God knows what it cost me-to stand in my pulpit the following Sunday and make a public apology for pretending what I was not in the midst of my congregation. Five of my office bearers left me within a week. They wouldn’t have a fool in the pulpit.

Oh, that may happen. It sometimes happens, you see, in revival, that there’s a subtraction before addition.

 Baptized with Love and Power

But listen, friends, as I lay there, God the Holy Ghost came upon me. Wave after wave came rolling over me until the love of God swept through me like a mighty river! So much so, that there were moments…now listen, my daughter beside me put her hand on my shoulders and she prayed, “Oh, God, keep his reason to Daddy.” I was never more sane in my life! But I was so wrought upon by the Holy Ghost that I cried and I laughed and I prayed.

Someone asked me, “Did you speak in tongues?” Oh, I was asked that again and again. No, my dear people, I’ve never spoken in tongues nor have I ever been in a meeting where tongues have been practiced. But I say that the Holy Ghost came to me…in a mighty cleansing, empowering power!

A professor in Edinburgh met me sometime afterward. Of course, it was known abroad that something had happened to Campbell. (Of course, some thing did happen to him. I was set free-glorious freedom!) This professor said to me, “Now tell me, tell me, Campbell…they tell me that you had a wonderful experience in your study.” “Yes,” I said. “God came to me.” “What difference did it make in your life?” “Well, I think, professor, that the difference must be obvious to you from what has already happened,” I said. “I went out to preach the same sermons that I’d been preaching for seventeen years…went out to preach the same sermons with this difference-that I now saw hundreds converted, hundreds brought savingly to Christ.”

 Go Through With God

And if God in His mercy has been pleased to use me in some small measure since that hour, I can trace it back to that moment, when Sheena said to me, “Whatever it costs, Daddy, go through with God.”

And I say to you, brother, whatever it costs, whatever it costs, go through with God!

Revivals—Source Ministries International has an overall emphasis on spiritual awakening. Now is the time for God’s people to be awakened and work together!  Therefore, let us join together as co-laborers in this great Kingdom endeavor. http://www.sourceministries.net/go/about/scheduling/

 

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FORGIVENESS

th-1 

Corrie ten Boom (1892 -1983)

Missionary, Christian Holocaust survivor: Haarlem, Netherlands

 

FORGIVING OTHERS

Corrie ten Boom

 

It was in a church in Munich where I was speaking in 1947 that I saw him—a balding heavy-set man in a gray overcoat, a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. One moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat, the next, a blue uniform and a visored cap with its skull and crossbones. Corrie

Memories of the concentration camp came back with a rush: the huge room with its harsh overhead lights, the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in the center of the floor, the shame of walking naked past this man. I could see my sister’s frail form ahead of me, ribs sharp beneath the parchment of skin.

Betsie and I had been arrested for concealing Jews in our home during the Nazi occupation of Holland. This man had been a guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp where we were sent. …

 

Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out: “A fine message, fraulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!”

It was the first time since my release that I had been face to face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze.

 

“You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,” he was saying. “I was a guard therre. But since that time,” he went on, “I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein, …” again the hand came out, …” will you forgive me?”

 

And I stood there—I whose sins had every day to be forgiven—and could not. Betsie had died in that place—could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?

 

It could not have been many seconds that he stood there, hand held out, but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do. …

 

Still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. “Jesus, help me!” I prayed silently. “I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.”

 

And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. “I forgive you, brother!” I cried. “With all my heart!”

 

For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.

(Excerpt from The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom 1971)

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to the Christ Life referencing 500 Scriptures.

 

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CHRISTIAN LIVING

Robert B. Munger (1910-2001)146-1

Presbyterian minister, Seminary professor: California

MY HEART: CHRIST’S HOME

Robert B. Munger

      One evening I invited Jesus Christ into my heart. What an entrance He made! It was not a spectacular, emotional thing, but very real. Something happened at the very center of my life. He came into the darkness of my heart and turned on the light. He built a fire on the hearth and banished the chill. He started music where there had been silence, He filled the emptiness with His own loving, wonderful fellowship. I have never regretted opening the door to Christ and I never will.

In the joy of this new relationship I said to Jesus Christ, “Lord, I want this heart of mine to be Yours. I want to have You settle down here and be perfectly at home. Everything that I have belongs to You. Let me show you around.”

THE STUDY

The first room was the study–the library. In my home this room of the mind is a very small room with very thick walls. But it is a very important room. In a sense it is the control room of the house. He entered with me and looked around at the books on the bookcase, the magazines upon the table, the pictures on the walls. As I followed His gaze I became uncomfortable.

Strangely, I had not felt self-conscious about this before, but now that He was there looking at these things I was embarrassed. Some books were there that His eyes were too pure to behold. On the table were a few magazines that a Christian had no business reading. As for the pictures on the walls–the imaginations and thoughts of the mind–some of these were shameful.

Red-faced I turned to Him and said, “Master, I know that this room needs to be cleaned up and made over. Will You help me make it what it ought to be?”

“Certainly!” He said. “I’m glad to help you. First of all, take all the things that you are reading and looking at which are not helpful, pure, good and true, and throw them out! Now put on the empty shelves the books of the Bible. Fill the library with Scripture and meditate on it day and night. As for the pictures on the walls, you will have difficulty controlling these images, but I have something that will help.” He gave me a full-size portrait of Himself. “Hang this centrally,” He said, “on the wall of the mind.”

THE DINING ROOM

From the study we went into the dining room, the room of appetites and desires. I spent a lot of time and hard work here trying to satisfy my wants. I said to Him, “This is a favorite room. I am quite sure you will be pleased with what we serve.”

He seated Himself at the table with me and asked, “What is on the menu for dinner?” “Well,” I said, “my favorite dishes: money, academic degrees and stocks, with newspaper articles of fame and fortune as side dishes.” These were the things I liked–secular fare. When the food was placed before Him, He said nothing, but I observed that He did not eat it. I said to Him, “Master, don’t You care for this food? What is the trouble?”

He answered, ” I have food to eat that you do not know of. If you want food that really satisfies you, do the will of the Father. Stop seeking you own pleasures, desires, and satisfaction. Seek to please Him. That food will satisfy you.”

There at the table He gave me a taste of the joy of doing God’s will. What flavor! There is no food like it in the world. It alone satisfies.

THE LIVING ROOM

From the dinning room we walked into the living room. This room was intimate and comfortable. I liked it. It had a fireplace, overstuffed chairs, a sofa, and a quite atmosphere. He said, “This is indeed a delightful room. Let us come here often. It is secluded and quite, and we can fellowship together.”

Well, as a young Christian I was thrilled. I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do than have a few minutes with Christ in close companionship. He promised, “I will be here early every morning. Meet Me here, and we will start the day together.”

So morning after morning, I would come downstairs to the living room. He would take a book of the Bible from the case. We would open it and read it together. He would unfold to me the wonder of God’s saving truths. My heart sang as He shared the love and grace He had toward me. These were wonderful times.

However, little by little, under the pressure of many responsibilities, this time began to be shortened. Why, I’m not sure. I thought I was too busy to spend regular time with Christ. This was not intentional, you understand. It just happened that way. Finally, not only was the time shortened, but I began to miss days now and then. Urgent matters would crowd out the quite times of conversation with Jesus.

I remember one morning rushing downstairs, eager to be on my way. I passed the living room and noticed that the door was opened. Looking in, I saw a fire in the fireplace and Jesus was sitting there. Suddenly in dismay I thought to myself, “He is my guest. I invited Him into my heart! He has come as my Savior and Friend, and yet I am neglecting Him.”

I stopped, turned and hesitantly went in. With downcast glance, I said, “Master, forgive me. Have You been here all these mornings?” “Yes,” He said, “I told you I would be here every morning to meet with you. Remember, I love you. I have redeemed you at great cost. I value your friendship. Even if you cannot keep the quite time for your own sake, do it for mine.”

The truth that Christ desires my companionship, that He wants me to be with Him and waits for me, has done more to transform my quiet time with God than any other single fact. Don’t let Christ wait alone in the living room of your heart, but every day find time when, with your Bible and in prayer, you may be together with Him.

THE WORKROOM

Before long, He asked, “Do you have a workroom in your home?” Out in the garage of the home of my heart I had a workbench and some equipment, but I was not doing much with it. Once in a while I would play around with a few little gadgets, but I wasn’t producing anything substantial.

I led Him out there. He looked over the workbench and said, “Well, this is quite well furnished. What are you producing with your life for the Kingdom of God?” He looked at one or two little toys that I had thrown together on a bench and held one up to me. “Is this the sort of thing you are doing for others in your Christian life?” “Well,” I said, “Lord, I know it isn’t much, and I really want to do more, but after all, I don’t seem to have strength or skill to do more.”

“Would you like to do better?” He asked. “Certainly,” I replied. “All right. Let me have your hands. Now relax in me and let my Spirit work through you. I know that you are unskilled, clumsy and awkward, but the Holy Spirit is the Master Workman, and if He controls your hands and you heart, He will work through you.” Stepping around behind me and putting His strong hands under mine, He held the tools in His skilled fingers and began to work through me. The more I relaxed and trusted Him, the more He was able to do with my life.

THE REC ROOM

He asked me if I had a rec room where I went for fun and fellowship. I was hoping He would not ask about that, There were certain associations and activities that I wanted to keep for myself.

One evening when I was on my way out with some buddies, He stopped me with a glance and asked, “Are you going out?” I replied, “Yes.” “Good,” He said, ” I would like to go with you.” “Oh,” I answered rather awkwardly.” “I don’t think, Lord Jesus, that you would really enjoy where we are going. Let’s go out together tomorrow night. Tomorrow night we will go to a Bible class at church, but tonight I have another appointment.”

“I am sorry,” He said. “I thought that when I came into your home, we were going to do everything together, to be close companions. I just want you to know that I am willing to go with you.” “Well,” I mumbled, slipping out the door, “we will go someplace together tomorrow night.”

That evening I spent some miserable hours. I felt rotten. What kind of friend was I to Jesus, deliberately leaving Him out of my life, doing things and going places that I knew very well He would not enjoy?

When I returned that evening, there was a light in His room, and I went up to talk it over with Him. I said “Lord, I have learned my lesson. I know now that I can’t have a good time without You. From now on, we will do everything together.” Then we went down into the rec room of the house. He transformed it. He brought new friends, new excitement, new joys. Laughter and music have been ringing through the house ever since.

THE HALL CLOSET

One day I found Him waiting for me at the door. An arresting look was in His eye. As I entered, He said to me, “There is a peculiar odor on the house. Something must be dead around here. It’s upstairs. I think it is in the hall closet.”

As soon as He said this, I knew what He was talking about. There was a small closet up there on the hall landing, just a few feet square. In that closet, behind lock and key, I had one or two little personal things that I didn’t not want anyone to know about. Certainly, I did not want Christ to see them. I knew they were dead and rotting things left over from the old life. I wanted them so for myself that I was afraid to admit they were there.

Reluctantly, I went up with Him, and as we mounted the stairs the odor became stronger and stronger. He pointed to the door. I was angry. That’s the only way I can put it. I had given Him access to the library, the dining room, the living room, the workroom, and now He was asking me about a little two-by-four closet. I said to myself, “This is too much. I am not going to give Him the key.”

“Well,” he said, reading my thoughts, “if you think I’m going to stay up here on the second floor with this smell, you are mistaken. I will go out on the porch.” Then I saw Him start down the stairs.

When one comes to know and love Christ, the worst thing that can happen is to sense Him withdrawing His fellowship. I had to give in. “I’ll give you the key,” I said sadly, but You will have to open the closet and clean it out. I haven’t got the strength to do it.”

“Just give me the key,” He said. “Authorize me to take care of that closet and I will.” With trembling fingers I passed the key to Him. He took it, walked over to the door, opened it, entered, took out all the putrefying stuff that was rotting in there, and threw it away. Then He cleaned the closet and painted it. It was all done in a moment’s time. Oh, what victory and release to have that dead thing out of my life!

TRANSFERRING THE TITLE

A thought came to me. “Lord, is there any chance that You would take over the management of the whole house and operate it for me as You did that closet? Would You take the responsibility to keep my life what it ought to be?”

His face lit up as He replied, “I’d love to! That is what I want to do. You cannot be a victorious Christian in you own strength. Let me do it through you and for you. That is the way. But, “He added slowly, “I am just a guest. I have no authority to proceed, since the property is not mine.”

Dropping to my knees, I said, “Lord, You have been a guest and I have been the host. From now on I am going to be the servant. You are going to be the owner and Master.” Running as fast as I could to the strongbox, I took out the title deed to the house describing its assets and liabilities, location and situation. I eagerly signed the house over to Him alone for time and eternity. “Here,” I said. “Here it is, all that I am and all that I have, forever. Now You run the house. I’ll just remain with You as a servant and friend.”

Things are different since Jesus Christ has settled down and has made His home in my heart.

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to the Christ Life referencing 500 Scriptures.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jeff Floyd

Jeff Floyd (1934 -2008)

Former Pastor/Co-founder of Jubilee International: Noblesville, IN

Author: Ax to the Root

 

WAIT ON THE LORD

Jeff Floyd

(The Today Series January 31, 2008)

The feeling of being a  “castaway” is one of the most desperate feelings that one can have.  In clarification, I’m not referring to the losing of one’s salvation but rather the feeling of being passed over in the ministry.  There are times when many who have a genuine heart for the Lord, who have fully committed themselves to Him, who feel called to minister and have made adequate preparation, feel that they have been put “on the shelf.”

I can remember such a time in my own life when I had those feelings. When one is in revival or conference ministries the slowest times are usually in December and during the summer months and, consequently, the income is usually the smallest.  I was in an “in between” stage such as that. As a young evangelist with a large family, the occasional gaps in my schedule when I would have nothing scheduled in the near future could cause great desperation, especially since my income depended on the meetings I conducted.

On this occasion, it seemed that the down time had extended far longer than it should have.  We were squeaking through but it was very difficult.  I was filled with a great conflict.  One thing I couldn’t stand was for my family to be deprived and for my wife to have to struggle to try to “make do” on what little money that did come in.  The conflict I felt was my questions as to why my family should suffer when I was being as obedient as I knew to be and why God was not opening up doors of service.  I was beginning to feel that I was being passed by.

To complicate everything, God would not let me tell people my needs, since I had covenanted with Him that I would walk the walk of faith – telling only Him what my needs were and depending only on Him to supply everything we needed.  (Norma and I are still true to that covenant.) I was becoming secretly angry with both God and man.  I was angry with man for being insensitive about our obvious needs and God for not providing open doors.  What a trap!

What I didn’t realize is that God was stripping out of my life every expectation I had placed on man and I was learning to completely trust God.  In the larger picture, I have remained faithful to that covenant, rarely telling others of my ministry needs and speaking very rarely of my personal ones and consequently being very blessed.

What is important for our consideration here is not how God provided (which He eventually did) but what happened to restore my spirit.  I was searching the Scriptures one day, trying to find something on which I could fasten my faltering faith.  God led me to Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

A surge of new spiritual vitality flowed into me, charging up my spirit.  My questioning and doubts were gone as were any expectations placed on man. God was my provider and He was, is, and always will be faithful!

God was reminding me that what He had started in my life, He would also bring to fruition.  When one is called of God, he can rely upon God regardless of what external circumstances seem to say.

I further realized that coupled with the idea given in that verse was the repeated commands of the scripture that we “wait upon the Lord.”  God’s timetable is not always ours and ours is not always His.  He moves and acts when, in His divine wisdom, He determines it is appropriate and timely.  Until then it is essential that we wait on Him.

It was in those days that Isaiah 40:31 became so precious to me, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Waiting on the Lord is difficult at times and, at times, seemingly impossible.  It takes great discipline and toughness of mind and spirit to set one’s self to wait on Him.  One eventually learns that God is unconditionally committed to those who wait upon Him and He will move heaven and earth if necessary to care for them.

This is beautifully expressed in Isaiah 46:9-11, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”

Be blessed as you wait on Him.  Remember, He will not fail!

Introducing The New You is a grace oriented approach to the Christ Life referencing 500 Scriptures.

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